Designing t-shirts with Uakal Studio Barcelona

Uakal Studio aka Ludwig Camarillo is a Multidisciplinary creator focusing on audiovisual and art direction.

Awarded with two short films at International Animation Festivals in Toronto and Mexico City, Ludwig Camarillo has specialized in arts and design as well as Stop Motion and Illustration.  Along his 12 years career he has gained a strong academic experience in the high education System and has published a large number of personal projects in various creative fields such as printing techniques and digital retouching. A restless mind that is constantly exploring new techniques and pushing himself to the next level.

Can you tell us about your background and how it’s been to move from Mexico to Barcelona?

My background comes from graphic design, but before my formal studies I’ve always been close to, drawing, illustration, painting, printing, photography and paper crafts. I have also been fascinated by moving images since childhood. So one day, I started looking for studies in motion graphics outside Mexico and found out about Spain. Since then, six years have passed since I moved to Barcelona.

Courtesy of Uakal Studio, Photograph by Florentina Costa.

I normally do R+D first, and sometimes I prefer writing concepts on paper before starting to draw.

Can you tell us about your creative process? How do you start a design project?

Sure, first of all it doesn’t matter if it’s a graphic design, an illustration, or a motion graphic project. I usually follow the same workflow and not necessarily in the same order. I normally do R+D first, or sometimes I prefer writing concepts on paper before starting to draw. But if the idea is more abstract, I go straight to sketching or storyboarding. The most important thing is to come up with a clear idea “something to tell”, something to communicate. If I reach this point then the rest follows organically.

What made you take the decision to come to Europe?

I call it the auto exile, hahaha…really I was looking forward for a change.
Like a reset from scratch, a time for change and reinvent myself to expand my creativity. And Stop Motion animation was the best excuse to jump the ocean.

Do you find many differences between Mexican design and European design or more precisely in Barcelona?

Uh! Big theme. Nowadays… I don’t think so, perhaps 15 years ago. Today the art/design scene is growing big in Mexico. You can find many great artists and designers doing amazing work. so… I think we can be very similar and have many differences at the same time. however, it’s true that geography and culture influences us on how things are produced. In that wide sense we will always experience differences, isn’t that beautiful?

Courtesy of Uakal Studio, Photograph by Cristal Buemi.

What would you advise to someone from Latin America who would like to move to Europe and make a living as a designer?

I’m not sure if I can give an advise, I can only share my experience. If you are a curious and restless person who likes challenges of the daily multi-cultural encounters and you have the courage and desire, just look forward and don’t forget your portfolio. Be prepared for everything. Also having a plan B and a map, always helps hehehe…

Where do you find your inspiration from?

Literally everywhere. Music helps me a lot to get in the mood. Doodling is amazing to get lost by seeking shapes and forms. Nature of course! Movies, theater, exhibitions, performance, and literature too. Daily life also gives me a lot of good stuff to connect with different ideas. Obviously Internet and social media belongs to my inspirational archives but at the end, it’s more about what you do with all these inputs. It doesn’t matter If I don’t use it right away because it might pops up sooner or later in a way that I can apply on a project.

So we have launched 3 t-shirts series named Signum, what was your intention to make these designs, and what was your working process?

Signum emerges from an aesthetic exploration of digital collage and human body. The original intention was to model some hands with clay for a photo shooting. But it was requiring too much time and I was curious to see the visual results quickly, so I began taking photos of my own hand and that’s when the idea of the signals came up. Eventually during the process the idea evolved in a sculptural representation of body language, in this case, only the use of hands. Avoiding sign language for the blinds, I recreated common signs as a contemporary representations of cultural and historical used hand signs, considered almost as universal languages. Like the Shaka sign, mainly used in the surf culture, the fist as a symbol of Power, and then the Peace and Love sign used as the Victory symbol in the 1960’s for the nuclear disarmament.

T-shirt designs created by Uakal Studio.

Finally, what would be your own definition of “concept” ?

Concept is the essence of everything, the basis of all. Without a clear concept, anything you do might be very well executed, technically speaking, but empty in the inside. Like an Eye-Candy, very attractive at first sight but with a poor flavour of meanings.

Shop Uakal collection of T-shirts here.